Implementation Strategy And Structure

Photo of Man Using GPS

GPS is used to record
the precise location of sensisive habitats

Implementation of the MSCP requires coordinated actions among the participating local jurisdictions, other take authorization holders, the wildlife agencies, and the private sector. The MSCP Plan establishes the framework, while allowing the flexibility for each jurisdiction to implement the MSCP through their own subarea plans and implementing agreements. The MSCP provides for sequential adoption of subarea plans by the jurisdictions or other take authorization holders. Subarea plans and implementing agreements are also severable so that future actions or inactions of any one jurisdiction will not affect other take authorizations, except for the effects on the list of covered species and federal and state assurances that are specified in the subarea plans or implementing agreements.

The jurisdictions and other entities receiving federal and state take authorizations for covered species will receive assurances that increase predictability for the development process. Proponents of projects approved consistent with the MSCP will become "third party beneficiaries" to the locally received take authorizations, receiving assurances that mitigation obligations will not be subsequently altered for covered species and receiving the benefits of a streamlined process for federal and state permitting and environmental review.

Subarea Plans

Photo of Worker at Vernal Pool

A vernal pool inventory in 2003 mapped
2516 vernal pools in the City of San Diego

Subarea plans to implement the MSCP are prepared by local jurisdictions, special purpose agencies, regional public facility providers or utilities and, together with an implementing agreement, serve as the basis for issuance of federal and state take authorizations for covered species. The subarea plan specifies how the take authorization holder will conserve habitat and build the MSCP preserve using, in part, its existing land use planning and project approval process. Jurisdictions will incorporate the MSCP Plan and subarea plan into their policies, land use plans, and regulations and will approve public and private projects, or the siting of facilities, consistent with the subarea plan.

Subarea plans contain criteria, such as conservation targets, mitigation standards and/or development encroachment limits, to ensure that habitat preservation proceeds in step with development, and mechanisms to avoid or minimize project impacts to the preserve. A preserve management plan, or a schedule for its preparation, is also contained in the subarea plan. Subarea plans for the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Santee, Del Mar, and Coronado, the County of San Diego and Otay Water District are included in the MSCP Plan (Volume II). Subarea plan boundaries differ from jurisdictional boundaries because some jurisdictions own, otherwise control or may annex lands beyond their current jurisdiction boundaries. Other participants provided draft Multi-Habitat Planning Area maps for inclusion in the MSCP Plan, but have prepared or are preparing subarea plans separate from the MSCP Plan.

Implementing Agreements

An implementing agreement is a binding contract signed by the local jurisdiction (or other take authorization holder) and the wildlife agencies which identifies the roles and responsibilities of the parties to implement the MSCP and subarea plan. The agreement also specifies assurances and remedies if parties fail to perform their obligations. A Model Implementing Agreement, generally acceptable to the wildlife agencies, has been developed for use in preparing more specific implementing agreements and is contained as Attachment A to the plan. Many assurances are provided by the wildlife agencies including the provision for long-term (50 year) take authorizations for covered species, how a change in circumstances will be addressed for covered species, the effects on development and sharing of costs for uncovered species should they become listed, and the ability of take authorizations to be severable from those granted to other entities implementing the MSCP.

Local Jurisdiction Actions to Implement the MSCP

Local jurisdictions will implement the MSCP through their approved subarea plans and will amend land use plans, development regulations, codes and guidelines, as needed, to assure that development projects are consistent with the subarea plan and that conservation targets are reached. Some flexibility in plan implementation is provided in that adjustments to the MHPA and/or preserve boundaries can be made, without the need to amend the MSCP Plan or subarea plan, if the same or higher biological value of the preserve is achieved and the wildlife agencies concur. The jurisdictions will ensure that habitat management occurs on contributed public lands and on habitat lands acquired with regional funds or dedicated through the development process. The jurisdictions will also participate in establishing a regional funding source, coordinate conservation actions with adjoining jurisdictions, and prepare reports as described in Section 6.

More information about the MSCP Plan Summary